Through my bout of anger these last few days I realized that maybe my anger stems from the fact that all this money we're setting aside this month is just going back into material things that may or may not mean much to our kids after they rip open the wrapping on Christmas morning. Then I started thinking that maybe, just maybe this money shouldn't be ours. Maybe, just maybe this should be given away to someone who can't even save a penny because there is none after the bills are paid, there's only a hole that hasn't been filled in their belly.
On Sunday we were challenged at church to save $1.25 a day per person in our home for the next ten weeks. The challenge is to raise enough money to equal 1,000,000 pounds of food for our local Second Harvest Food Bank. Yea that's right...one million pounds of food in the form of cash donations, plus food that is donated in the food bins! But then the challenge got bigger. Our pastor said he wanted to see if we could add $.25 to that daily savings to make it a $1.50 total....okay why? Well that mere quarter a day per family member saved for 10 weeks....are you ready?
Will help to feed an entire village on the Somalian boarder....
...for a year.
My anger over the week slowly becomes obsolete as I process the message and turns towards my own selfish desires and I realize just how blessed I am. I am blessed to not only be able to eat three complete meals a day with my family but I'm able to actually put away money for 30 days to save for "something". My "something" was for yet another overwhelming Christmas morning filled with over abundance. But could this 30 Days of Nothing challenge me beyond October 1st to change my selfish ways? I think so. Because what I ALREADY have satisfies me. My children have everything already. How in the world can I be angry for this challenge? How can I be so selfish to hide my eyes to the obvious that was slapped in my face on Sunday?
A warm meal.
This money we are saving can buy all of these things for SOMEONE else! Someone who has in some cases none of these things or maybe just a home but no food or much love but is sick or has a few pennies a day for food but is in a shelter. This money can put food in the belly of a child who has nothing.
My anger has turned to compassion this week. I have gone from "absolutely NEEDING" that cute outfit or yet another hair bow for my daughter...just because I can. To ABSOLUTELY NEEDING to save for something else. SOMEONE else. My focus has changed dramatically. My mind is racing to figure out things that have been on my heart for sometime. I have become consumed with BOLD ACTS OF COMPASSION.
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood. Isaiah 58:6-7
Because I can.
"If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry, the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." Isaiah 58:10
There is profound change happening in our house because of THIS CHALLENGE. 30 Days of Nothing has changed us to not needing more material things in our lives but to NEEDING to find away to bring our love to others. To open our home to more of God's love. More of His children. More of His work.